By Glenmore Jones
Register Golf Columnist
The Eastern Kentucky University women’s golf team had a great turnout out of 14 teams for this year’s Colonel Classic at Arlington Country Club.
They also had two beautiful spring days to play.
Last year’s classic attracted 13 teams and was won by Morehead State University with a score of 901. EKU finished sixth with a score of 935 last year.
This year, the Lady Colonels placed third and bested last year’s score by 20 strokes, 915. It was a fine showing by these pretty, sweet-swinging, young ladies and something to be proud of.
EKU coach Mike Whitson did a fine job of presenting the trophies to the winners and expressing his gratitude to all the teams for their participation. Head professional Patrick Williams and his staff kept things running smoothly for the two days. Course superintendent Jim Cox had the course in mint condition for the event.
Special thanks to sports editor Nathan Hutchinson for assigning capable Bob Flynn to take all those great pictures of the ladies in action.
Older me, younger me
This letter is an excerpt from the book “Extraordinary Golf, The Art Of the Possible” by Fred Shoemaker with Pete Shoemaker — Golf Professional, P. O. Box 22731, Caramel, CA 93922.
I have talked to Fred and have his permission to use this letter anytime I want. I have given away many copies of it and have used it in my golf column a couple of times in the last 15 years.
It is well worth repeating. It is like the story of my life. I only wish I had read it when I was younger, I may have gotten more out of the game.
“Dear Younger Me,
I can’t play golf anymore. I tried to swing the club the other day but my body wouldn’t cooperate. The best I can do now is sometimes take walks on the course, but my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be so I don’t see much. I have a lot of time to sit and think now, and I often think about the game.
It was my favorite game. I played most of my adult life. Thousands of rounds, thousands of hours practicing. As I look back, I guess I had a pretty good time at it. But, now that I can’t do it anymore, I wish I’d done it differently.
It’s funny, but with all the time I spent playing golf, I never thought that I was a real golfer, I never thought that I was good enough to really belong out there. It doesn’t make much sense, since I scored better than average and a lot of people envied my game, but I always felt that if I was just a little better or a little more consistent, then I’d really be good, I’d be satisfied with my game. But I never was. It was always, “One of these days I’ll get to it” or “One day I’ll get there” and now here I am. I can’t play anymore and I’ll never get there.
I met a whole lot of people out on the course, that was one of the best things about the game. But aside from my regular partners, and a few others, I don’t feel like I got to know many of those people very well. I know they didn’t really get to know me. At times they probably didn’t want to. I was pretty occupied with my own game most of the time and didn’t have time for anyone else, especially if I wasn’t playing well.
So why am I writing you this letter anyway, just to explain? Not really. Like I said, my golfing experience wasn’t that bad. But it could have been so much better and I see that so clearly now. I want to tell you so you can learn from it. I don’t want you to get to be my age and feel the same regret I feel now.
I wish, I wish. Sad words I suppose but necessary. I wish I could have played the game with more joy, more freedom. I was always so concerned with “doing it right” that I never seemed to be able to just enjoy doing it at all. I was so hard on myself, never satisfied, always expecting more. Who was I trying to please? Certainly not myself, because I never did. If there were people whose opinions were important enough to justify all that self criticism, I never met them.
I wish I could have been a better playing partner. I wasn’t a bad person to be with really, but I wish I had been friendlier and gotten to know people better. I wish I could have laughed and joked more, and given people more encouragement. I probably would have gotten more from them, and I would have loved that. There were a few bad apples over the years but, most of the people I played with were friendly, polite and sincere. They really just wanted to make friends and have a better time.
I’m inside a lot now and I miss the beauty of the outdoors. For years when I was golfing, I walked through some of the most beautiful places on earth and yet I don’t feel as if I really saw them. Beautiful landscapes, trees, flowers, animals, the sky, the ocean — how could I have missed so much? What else was I thinking that was so important — my grip, my backswing, my stance? Sure I needed to think about those sometimes, but so often as to be oblivious to so much beauty? And all the green — the wonderful, deep, lush, color of green! My eyes are starting to fail. I wish I had used them better so I would have better, more vivid memories now.
So what is it I’m trying to say? I played the type of game I thought I should play, to please the type of people that I thought I should please. But it didn’t work, my game was mine to play, but I gave it away. It’s a wonderful game. Please, don’t lose yours. Play a game you want to play. Play a game that gives you joy and satisfaction and makes you a better person to your family and friends. Play with enthusiasm, play with freedom. Appreciate the beauty of nature and the people around you. Realize how lucky you are to be able to do it. All too soon your time will be up and you won’t be able to play anymore. Play a game that enriches your life.
That’s all I have to say I really don’t know just how this letter will get to you but, I hope it reaches you in time.
Love, Older Me”
Saturday at Berea Country Club – A Master’s Scramble. Entry fee is $10.00 and includes golf cart and green fees. A-B-C-D players. Each team will draw a golfer from the top 10 leaderboard whose score will be added to the team at the end of the day. Tee time will be 1 p.m. Hamburgers, grilled chicken and hot dogs will be available in the Pro Shop. Call 986-7141 to get your name on the list! (April 14, 1:00 p.m. will be rain date).
April 20 at Battlefield – Model Project Graduation. Cost is $75.00 per person and includes cart, green fee and lunch. Lots of prizes, tee time 9 a.m. For info, call Doug Dirks at 314-1114.
April 27 at Battlefield – Central Project Graduation. Cost $50 per person or $200 per team includes cart, green fee and lunch. Prizes: First - $300; second - $250 and third - $200. There will also be prizes for closest to the pin and long drive. For info, call Donya Smith at 624-5535.
The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month — Henry Van Dyke
Until next time … live, love, laugh and learn, Glenmore.